At, Customs Excise Service Tax Appellate Tribunal South Zonal Bench At Chennai
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P.K. DAS
By, JUDICIAL MEMBER
For the Appellant: G.K. Gundurao, Advocate. For the Respondent: M. Rammohan Rao, DC (AR).
1. Heard both sides and perused the records.
2. The relevant facts of the case, in brief, are that the appellants are engaged in the manufacture of cement plants in CKD condition. They exported the cement plants during the period 2006 2007 under Advance Licences. But, they have filed free shipping bills without any declaration and endorsement of the Advance Licences. The learned counsel submitted that they filed the documents to Jt. DGFT for fulfillment of the export obligation. The office of the Jt. DGFT informed them to endorse the shipping bills with Advance Licence number. By letter dated 20.6.2009, they requested the Customs authorities for Endorsement of the Advance Licences No. 0710046837/02.06.2006 on seven shipping bills. By communication dated 19.8.2009, the Assistant Commissioner of Customs (Exports) informed the appellant with the approval of Commissioner of Customs (Exports) that the request for endorsement of seven Advance Licences cannot be entertained.
3. The learned counsel on behalf of the appellant submits that it is evident from the ARE-1 that the appellant endorsed the Advance Licence number therein, which was signed by the Central Excise officers. It is submitted that the appellant inadvertently failed to mention the Advance Licence number in the shipping bills.
4. The learned AR on behalf of Revenue places the comments of the Department. He also referred the Board Circular No.04/2004-Cus. dated 16.1.2004.
5. On perusal of the communication dated 19.8.2009, I find that the request of the endorsement of the Advance Licence was rejected on the basis of para 3.2 of Board Circular No.04/2004-Cus. dated 16.1.2004 regarding conversion of free shipping bill into Advance Licences/DEPB / DFRC / DEEC shipping bills. Board circular No.04/2004 (supra) clarified that such conversion may be permitted on merits by the Commissioner on case to case basis subject to the conditions as stipulated in the said circular. It is also clarified that such conversion should only be allowed where the benefit of the export promotion scheme claimed by the exporter has been denied by DGFT / MOC or customs due to any dispute. The learned counsel already made a submission that the DGFT authority disputed the shipping bills for non-endorsement of Advance Licence numbers.
6. In my considered view, the matter should be examined by the Commissioner of Customs (Exports) on the basis of the records as available. Accordingly, I set aside the impugned communication dated 19.8.2009. The matter is remanded
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to the Commissioner of Customs (Exports) to examine all the issues afresh after giving a reasonable opportunity of hearing to the appellant. The appellant is directed to place all the documents during denovo adjudication. 7. The appeal is allowed by way of remand.